Research Agenda

As a teacher-scholar-administrator, I see my research, teaching, and administration as reciprocal efforts—thus, my research projects draw heavily on my teaching and administration. Broadly, my research aims to investigate embodied experience and/in writing program communities, often through a feminist lens. To that end, my research, including refereed and non-refereed publications, (inter)national and regional conference presentations, in-progress work and ongoing studies, largely sums up to the following interests:

  • feminist pedagogies and methodologies,

  • embodied rhetorics,

  • writing teacher preparation and development,

  • community-based research,

  • and digital and multimodal composition.


I practice the intersections of these interests in my article “Toward a Rhetoric of Body as Space" (Peitho, vol. 21, no. 2). In this article I call for a notion of embodied rhetoric that invites critical, ethical examinations of bodily space, analyzing the character Precious, from the novel Push, as an example space.

Building on my article’s orientation to embodiment, in my dissertation project I investigate how a composition practicum community at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) accounts for embodied performance in the preparation and development of graduate teaching associates (TAs) who teach first-year writing. Guided by a feminist community-based teacher-research methodology, I conducted a mixed-methods case study of the Fall 2017 composition practicum in order to understand how TAs perform embodiment as first-time teachers for BGSU’s General Studies Writing Program, as well as how they understand their embodied performance and represent embodied performance in their teaching portfolios.

I have presented on aspects of my dissertation at venues such as the annual Computers and Writing conference (“Always in the Process of Becoming: Phronesis in/as Writing Studies Research,” May 2018) and the biannual international Threshold Concepts conference (“‘All Writers Have More to Learn:’ Embodying Threshold Concepts in the Composition Practicum,” June 2018). Because my study values co-researchers’ voices, I find it important that I invite co-researchers to collaborate on presentations and publications built from this work, when possible and appropriate. For example, I co-presented dissertation findings centered on community-based pedagogy with three of my co-researchers at BGSU’s annual 21st Century Englishes graduate student conference (“Promoting Community, Culture, and Change in FYW Classrooms: How TAs Perform Community,” November 2018).

Currently I am revising the first chapter of my dissertation project into an article-length discussion of rhetorical embodied performance as pedagogy. Tentatively titled “Putting the ‘Practice’ Back in Practicum: Toward a Pedagogy of Rhetorical Embodied Performance,” I intend to submit this single-authored article for initial review in Teaching/Writing in spring/summer 2019. I will also give a presentation based on my dissertation findings, “Performing Embodied Reflection in the Composition Practicum,” at the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication annual convention. I will revise that conference paper into an article for consideration in Feminist Teacher, which I also plan to submit for initial review during summer 2019. Upon completing my dissertation project, I will continue composing articles based on my findings.

Complementing my dissertation research, I have participated in several collaborative research projects with my colleagues at Bowling Green State University. Most recently, I collaborated with several colleagues and mentors on an article about graduate student contributions to the local writing program at Bowling Green State University. Our column, “Metaphors We Innovate By: Graduate Students Transforming a Writing Community,” has been accepted for publication at CEA Forum and is forthcoming in the December 2018 issue. Additionally, my colleague Sara Austin and I are conducting an institutional ethnography of first-year TAs’ experience teaching writing-about-writing pedagogy for the General Studies Writing Program at BGSU. Sara and I presented initial findings from our survey of TAs at the 2018 Council of Writing Program Administrators’ annual conference, from which we are composing our first article from this study for consideration in WPA: Writing Program Administration. We expect to have our article under initial review in late summer 2019. Like my dissertation project, I envision several article-length projects resulting from this study in years to come.

In addition to the research I’ve begun during my graduate studies, in the next five years I plan to take on new projects that build on—and extend—my research interests. I would be excited by the opportunity to revise my dissertation into a book-length project, which will focus on a theory of rhetorical embodied performance. The book project will define rhetorical performance in terms of its theoretical and practical implications for the field, employing my dissertation research as a case study example. I am equally eager to propose another book project: an edited collection that focuses on pedagogical approaches to preparing new (and experienced) TAs in the composition practicum. I imagine this book looking similar to Tate et al.’s A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, with each chapter representing a different approach to teaching/mentoring graduate student teachers of writing. Feeling a need for such books in my own teaching and research, I am most excited for the possibility of these projects.

Because I believe in community-oriented approaches to teaching and administration, as a teacher-researcher who values writing programs as sites of inquiry I find it imperative that my future studies stay true to the local context. Therefore, I cannot fully project what my future writing program research will entail. I imagine, however, that I will remain interested in learning how and what we—WPAs, writing teachers, writers—learn from our embodied (and) community experiences, and that this interest will continue to manifest in case studies of my home writing program(s). Staying true to my teacher-scholar-administrator identity, I envision a research trajectory guided by feminist, community-based, teacher-research methodologies and rooted in local praxis.